From Hard Cash, by Charles Reade
IN A SNOWY VILLA
"In a snowy villa, with a sloping lawn, just outside the great commercial seaport, Barkington, there lived a few years ago a happy family. A lady, middle-aged, but still charming; two young friends of hers; and a periodical visitor.
The Lady was Mrs. Dodd; her occasional visitor was her husband; her friends were her son Edward, aged twenty, and her daughter Julia, nineteen: the fruit of a misalliance."
The first lines of the prologue